Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Celibacy in priesthood is 'soon to be a thing of the past'

The Vatican might be a little surprised at the prognostication delivered by Fr. Shay Cullen (photo) during an interview with the Irish TV program "The Meaning of Life." Fr. Cullen, a priest in the Missionary Society of St. Columban and founder of the Preda Foundation which works primarily to protect the human rights of women and children in the Philippines, told program moderator Gay Byrne that celibacy in the Catholic Church was a "business arrangement" that would soon be a thing of the past.

"Celibacy is only a practice mostly to keep property out of the hands of married couples," Fr. Cullen said. "It's more sort of a business type of arrangement...All of the other Christian churches manage very well and many Anglicans who were married and had family and children and came over to the Catholics and were warmly accepted. Now we have many married priests in the Catholic Church and it is working, so why not? It is only another step to abolishing this celibate thing and getting on with life."

The priest, who has been nominated three times for the Nobel Peace Prize, then went on to discuss his work protecting children from the abuses of the sex trade...

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

My life as a married Catholic priest

By R. Scott Hurd
Washington Post

This priest is a married RC priest with three children and Vicar General for the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of Saint Peter.

"...In my new role as Vicar General of the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of Saint Peter, established on January 1 by Pope Benedict XVI, I’ll continue to serve with married clergy. This time, however, they will be married priests. I happen to be one of them. By the end of 2012, there may be as many as 140 married priests in the U.S....

...When we answered God’s call to Catholic ministry, we didn’t set out to break the mold. None of us, to my knowledge, want to be “poster boys” for a new paradigm of priesthood. Instead, we wished to be obedient, and wanted an opportunity to serve. We’re deeply grateful for the opportunity we’ve been given...

...In our day, debates about celibacy swirl in Catholic circles. This ancient and biblical discipline has both its defenders and critics. Speaking for myself, I feel uncomfortable when circumstances like mine are used to further an argument or make a point. I’m simply honored to serve the Lord I love while being blessed with a family I love. I can’t imagine life without either--and I’m glad I don’t have to. .."

Well, you get the idea...I find this whole "I've got mine, Jack, so I'm not gonna risk my position by denouncing injustice so you can get yours too" attitude that Fr. Hurd and the other married pastoral provision priests have adopted to be really infuriating. Yes, you men ARE poster children for why the Church can -- and should -- make celibacy optional. Every day, just by doing your jobs, you prove that there's no fundamental conflict between a vocation to the priesthood and married life. Maybe if the Vatican opened its eyes, it would see that too.

Losing his vocation, not his religion

By Manya A. Brachear
Chicago Tribune
January 15, 2012

Like many Roman Catholic men who feel called to the priesthood, the Rev. Jim Hearne wrestled with whether ordination was right for him.

The youngest of seven in an Irish Catholic family, he saw the joy of family life firsthand and never could quite extinguish the desire to one day have children of his own. But spurred to help stem the priest shortage and strengthen the integrity of the cloth, Hearne donned a priest's collar in 2005 at age 25.

Now he wonders if his six years in the pulpit as "Father Jim" might have been preparation to become Jim, the father. After a six-month leave of absence from St. Giles Roman Catholic Church in Oak Park, Hearne has decided he will not return to the pulpit, but he will stay in the pews and pray to one day start a family of his own.

He has no intention of turning his back on Catholicism. Rather, he wants to be more faithful to the church he calls home, and faithful to his feelings.

Hearne has fallen in love....

Full text of article...

Photo: Jim Hearne in his new uniform as a security guard.

Friday, January 06, 2012

The Vatican's problem with fathers who are fathers

by Sophia Deboick
The Guardian
January 6, 2012

Last week it emerged that Gabino Zavala, the auxiliary bishop of the Catholic archdiocese of Los Angeles for nearly 18 years, has a secret family. The existence of his two teenage children has been deemed a sufficiently "grave cause", as defined by Canon 401 of the code of canon law, that he has been obliged to resign. Memories of other notable cases resurface: the Eamon Casey scandal of the early 90s, when revelations that he fathered a child two years before his episcopal appointment led to his resignation as Bishop of Galway; the more recent case of the founder of the Legionaries of Christ, Father Marcial Maciel, who had as many as six children (although accusations of paedophilia and incest make this alleged offence pale into insignificance). Zavala is hardly the first priest to break his vow of celibacy in such spectacular fashion, and in fact the church has struggled with the problem of "Fathers who are fathers" for centuries.

The children of Catholic priests have historically presented a double problem to the Latin Rite church: clearly they give the game away about dad's lack of conformity to the requirement for celibacy, but they also put a financial burden on his employer....

Full story...

Wednesday, January 04, 2012

Bishop resigns after disclosing he is father of two children

By John Thavis, Catholic News Service
National Catholic Reporter
Jan. 04, 2012

Los Angeles Auxiliary Bishop Gabino Zavala has resigned after disclosing to superiors in mid December that he was the father of two minor teenage children who live with their mother in another state. Bishop Zavala told Archbishop Gomez that he had submitted his resignation to Pope Benedict XVI. Since that time, Bishop Zavala has not been in ministry and "will be living privately," Archbishop Gomez said.

"The archdiocese has reached out to the mother and children to provide spiritual care as well as funding to assist the children with college costs. The family's identity is not known to the public, and I wish to respect their right to privacy," Archbishop Gomez said...

Bishop Zavala, a native of Guerrero, Mexico, has also been the bishop-president of Pax Christi...

Seminary is not exactly a traditional education nor would it work for an online degree program as well as other subjects would Community, fellowship and discussion are integral, in addition to personal studies. As more seminaries close, men who dream of becoming priests may have to travel farther to complete the education they need.

NOTE: Seminary is not exactly a traditional education nor would it work for an online degree program as well as other subjects would Community, fellowship and discussion are integral, in addition to personal studies. As more seminaries close, men who dream of becoming priests may have to travel farther to complete the education they need.